Warning! Spoilers ahead!
This recap obviously contains major plot details for Star Wars: Rebels episode 1.13 “Fire Across the Galaxy”, which aired Mar. 2, 2015. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
It seems like this show just started yesterday, but here we are at the season one finale of Star Wars: Rebels! The lead in to the finale was immense and I’m happy to report that the payoff was equally as huge. It’s striking to me how much this show has grown, both visually and in terms of storytelling, over the span of just 13 episodes. “Fire Across the Galaxy” was a great way to showcase the culmination of this team’s hard work on the first season.
This is going to sound a little off the wall, but I think my favorite thing by far about this episode was the change in distribution. I’ve been lucky enough to have access to the episodes a week early on the WatchDisneyXD website, but only a small fraction of viewers had this privilege throughout the first season. This issue has been a huge source of frustration and disappointment within a fan community that was always so used to watching previous Star Wars animation live on Cartoon Network. By not showing this episode early, Disney/Lucasfilm restored that communal feeling that results from the whole fanbase watching the show together. In turn, this helped to amp up the online chatter. Though I enjoyed getting episodes a week early, I really do hope they change up the distribution model for season two.
Alright, on to the good stuff. “Fire Across the Galaxy” dives right into the action from the get-go and doesn’t come up for air all that often (a good thing for a show like this). Like I said before, there was a lot of great buildup to the showdown between our rebels and Tarkin, the Inquisitor, and the Imperial fleet around Mustafar. I had been wondering when all of these relatively minor acts of defiance would come to a head. The arrival of Tarkin on Lothal was a great way to heighten everyone’s sense of danger. This helped to create the almost anxious feeling I felt throughout the episode.
I honestly had no idea what was going to happen during the fight between Kanan and Ezra and the Inquisitor. I’ve been seeing a lot of people online comparing this fight sequence to the infamous ‘Duel of the Fates’ from Episode I. Indeed, many instances in this confrontation mirrored that great fight (it also helped that Kevin Kiner was given the use of a full orchestra for this episode’s score).
The fight, and its grim ending, left me with some important questions. For one, did Kanan state that he had nothing left to fear because he felt that he had lost Ezra? This seems to be more of an old-Jedi, lack of attachment sort of thing, which doesn’t really line up with the character we’ve seen so far. The Inquisitor’s final words (“There are some things far more frightening than death”) seem to mock Kanan’s triumph over the fear of death and loss. Also, what exactly was the Inquisitor referring to? The go-to is, of course, the wrath of Vader or perhaps the Emperor. But, what if it’s something less obvious, say, more mythical?
The really powerful part of this episode for me was the arrival of the rebel cruisers just in time to save the day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this moment was pure Star Wars. I was glad to get some more space battle action. I’ll talk about more season two stuff in another post, but I have a feeling we’ll see more ships and dogfights in the near future.
The only thing missing from this episode, and the season as a whole, was more of the secondary characters like Sabine, Zeb, and Agent Kallus. I was so jazzed to see that there was a very palpable sense of rivalry between Zeb and Kallus. However, this rivalry was seemingly forgotten in subsequent episodes. There may still be hope for more exploration of secondary characters, as executive producer Dave Filoni mentioned in this week’s Rebels Recon that we’ll go deeper into the backgrounds of the characters in season two. Finally, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to go to the surface of Mustafar. Train made a big deal about the planet being able to crack anyone and make them talk, so it felt a little odd that they traveled all the way there just to keep interrogating Kanan the same way they did above Lothal. It did, however, make a fantastic looking backdrop for the space battle (and especially to see the Star Destroyer Sovereign go down in flames).
As for the elephant in the room (or should I say Togrutan?), I don’t think there’s much to say yet about Ahsoka’s return. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I did a few fist pumps when I saw her on screen and I’m more than excited to get more of her story, but there’s just not much to go on with this brief appearance. I love the character model and some of the stuff that’s been revealed about her clothing, gear, lightsabers, etc. It will be interesting to see what Filoni and co. do with Ahsoka in this brave, new, post-Order 66 galaxy.
And hey, Vader’s back!
What did you think about the Star Wars Rebels finale? What was your favorite moment? Be sure to check back for more Rebels news and updates as we make our way toward Season 2!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes